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I breastfed my daughter from birth, although found it very hard to start with. I often found that my breasts were very full and when I was feeding from one, the other would leak a lot. I knew about breast shells, but as my daughter refused to take my milk from a bottle, I didn't bother to try and store it so didn't bother with the breast shells.
The breast shells came in a pack of two and I bought them from Boots for about £5. They are used to collect leaking breast milk or to protect sore nipples. They come in two parts; the backing which fits to the breast and the front part to collect the milk. The back part is made from a soft silicone which moulds to your breast so that they stay in place. The front part is slightly more solid and has holes in it to provide ventilation. The shells can hold about an ounce of milk which can be poured into a bottle or container to be stored. The two parts come apart easily so they can be cleaned.
I eventually bought these because I realised that they would be useful to stop me leaking as much when I was in the house feeding my daughter. I went through so many breast pads that it must have cost me a fortune. I wish I had got these earlier! These were very easy to use although you have to make sure you put them on the right way up otherwise all the milk falls through the holes in them. The same applies when moving them to pour the milk out. They were very comfortable and I didn't really notice I was wearing them. I had a lot of extra milk but I found they never overflowed.
I would definitely recommend these breast shells. They were easy to use and I never had a problem with them. I would not use them outside the house or at night-time and would generally only use them when feeding or expressing. Wish I had used them from the beginning!
Breast shells are a handy contraption for breastfeeding mothers.
A basic plastic "shell" that fits over the nipple and catches any milk that is lost.
I bought mine from Boots, two basic breast shells cost me £4.20.
They come in two pieces, a soft plastic "lid" of sorts which attaches to a harder plastic shell. There are air holes in the hard plastic, which allows nipples to air dry. Most are microwave and dishwasher safe, which is great for speedy sterilising if you want to keep the milk you save.
As a new mother I noticed that I had a fairly strong letdown, often when feeding from one breast I would find the other leaking quite prolifically. In the beginning my milk would leak quite a lot , especially if I was looking at or holding my baby, or if I heard a baby crying. At night, once she started going longer between feeds I'd find my breasts would get overfull and letdown without stimulation. Often breast pads weren't enough to stop overspill onto clean bras and tops. For those times I found breast shells incredibly helpful.
In the first few weeks I got sore and cracked nipples, the shells provided a means to air my nipples without worrying too much about staining bedding. Letting your nipples dry naturally is very good for them when they are sore. I used to wear the shells at night for this reason, although I did find that when I was lying down I had to make sure I positioned the holes so that I didn't leak. I often used a disposable pad outside the shell to catch any spillage cause by lying down like this, or if I had a particularly 'productive' night and they overfilled.
The shells sat quite nicely on my nipples, the softer plastic seems to be non-slip and the shape of the funnel in the 'lid' draws the nipple in with a nice little vacuum, so I wasn't worried about them falling off. The vacuum could sometimes set off my letdown in the early days.
I also felt like I was helping the environment as I found I used the disposable pads much less.
There were a couple of downsides of course, the leaking at night being one, but also the shape of the shells means that on my large breasts they are very noticeable. I think perhaps on a woman with smaller breasts it might be less conspicuous, but they were definitely not something I would have worn out of the house. I also found that the lip running around the 'lid' to attach the soft inner to the outer shell could be difficult to clean, even with a bottle brush.
A QUICK TIP
If you want to save the milk in your shells, I found the best way to get the milk out was to tip the shells whilst still put together and use an 'air hole' like a spout. Then you won't waste any.
Easy to sterilise, dishwasher and microwave safe
Good for sore nipples
Catches and stores excess milk
Better for the environment
Can leak when used at night
Lip around the 'lid' can be difficult to clean
Very noticeable when worn, not for use outside the home
Well, I was about 4 weeks into breastfeeding when I discovered breast shells. I was fed up with being completely covered in milk every time my daughter fed. I don't suppose she minding that she got a Cleopatra type bath as it kept her skin nice and smooth! In the first few weeks of breastfeeding it is really difficult not to gush from the side that your baby is not feeding from, so any help you can get is very welcome. It saves on the laundry too. How do you use them? Well, the hole in the breast shield should be placed over your nipple and held in place by your bra. I found that the shield held around 1-2oz before I had to tip out the milk otherwise it would overflow. The other thing is, you can't use them for more than 40 minutes at a time as it can affect your milk ducts which can lead to block ducts, mastitis etc - really horrid and you don't want to get it! I found them really comfortable and it was reassuring that the milk was being collected rather than being dribbled down your t-shirt. Anyway, before you start thinking that it's an easy way to collect breast milk instead of using a pump...you'll have to think again! Most of the milk in the shield will be foremilk so you can't use just the milk in the shields for a bottle feed but you can use the milk to top up any bottles of milk you have expressed. This is particularly useful in the early days when all you can express is about 2oz -if you are lucky. Also, the shields must be sterilised if you are going to keep the milk, I found that after about 3 months I didn't need to use the shields and breast pads did the job. Needless to say, breastfeeding definately got less messy!
When you make the decision to breast feed you dont think you will need any equipment, well you dont really, not unless you are planning on using flannels in your bra's and stay in with your child 24/7. Here is a list of things that I thought were a must whilst breast feeding- 3 Maternity bra's 1 Bra for night feeding Boots disposable pads 2 pack of breast shells Avent breastpump and bottles I used breast pads and found them great when you're not feeding they just slip in your bra and you dont even notice that they're there,and help to protect your clothes, but when it came to actually feeding baby you get soaked. You see unless you've actually breastfed a baby you wont know that when your baby is feeding on the one breast your other one starts to leak like mad, the breast sort of comes out in sympathy with the other one. So I set out to find something that I could use other than stuffing a flannel into my bra. I had alook in Mothercare and found they had a large variety of breast feeding products such as bra's creams, breast sheilds and breastshells. I picked up the box of breastshells had a read and decided to give them a whirl. They come in a pack of two so you can wear one on each breast instead of the pads. But if you do decide to wear them both you will look more like madonna in her younger days! I advice you wear just the one shell while feeding on the breast you're not feeding with of course, and have the other one at hand to put in it's place incase it fills up. The shells are plastic and break into two halves so that they can be cleaned easily, they also have a small hole in the middle for the nipple to fit into and then the milk can drop into the bottom and save your clothes from getting wet. They also have a little spout, which you should make sure is placed at the top while feeding so the milk does'nt pour out
. This spout is usefull so that the milk that gathers in the shell can be poured into a bottle for later use for when you go out. The bad thing about these is that if you use them on a night while in bed, I advise that you make sure that you're sitting up, as when they start to fill up all the milk runs out and it wakes you up with quite a start. But they are a great idea, and my aunts all wish they were about when they had their kids.
Breast shells are small plastic cups, similar in size to the padding in a wonderbra that you wear inside your bra whilst pregnant or breastfeeding. They are usually worn whilst pregnant to stop milk leaking over your clothes. Whilst brastfeeding, they are usually used to collefct any excess milk that leaks out. They usually have a little spout at the top of the cup for you to pour any collected milk out of. They come apart so you can wash them properly. I managed to store loads of breast milk with my shells. My little boy was an extremely demanding feeder. Every hour during the day, constantly all evening and every couple of hours during the night. I could never get the hang of expressing one breast whilst he was feeding on the other and desperately needed to store some milk so that I could get some rest. My midwife told me about these and after some searching I found them in Boots. Just wear one on the resting breast whilst feeding your baby on the other and voila! I usually managed to get a couple of ounces each time. On a couple of occasions, I fell asleep feeding and managed 6 ounces. You'll probably ned a couple of pairs if you're going to to use them like I did as you will need to wash and sterilse in between uses.
Breast shells. What a brilliant idea these are. With my first son three years ago, I'd never even heard of breast shells. I did however want to collect milk so that my husband could take part in feeding our son, so I bought a hand expresser. I found this really hard to master, sometimes the milk would just pour out of me, but more often than not it was really hard work to get any substantial amount. This time round I was introduced to the idea of breast shells by some friends. So, I went out and bought two boxes from Boots. They have two breast shells in each box. When it's time to feed my baby, I put the breast shell over the nipple that the baby isn't feeding from to collect the drip milk. I was surprised at how much drip milk there was. I find that one breast leaks more milk than the other. So when I'm collecting from the right hand side I have to remember to check and empty it more frequently otherwise the shell fills up and overflows, drenching me!!! The shell holds about 2oz of milk, though if it's full to capacity like that you do tend to waste some trying to get it into the bottle. I find throughout the day if I used the shells at each feed, by evening I have anything between 3½ - 5ozs of milk collected. The shells themselves are transparent plastic that come in two halves. The half that goes against your breast is curved with a hole for your nipple to go through. The other half is a dome shape with a small pouring spout (please, whatever you do, remember to position the spout at the top!!) The two halves just easily press together. Obviously once you've used them you need to sterilise them before you use them again. I found having four shells sets me up for the day, so that I'm not constantly using one and sterilising it before the next feed. These are much cheaper and easier to use (in my experience) than an expresser. After all, you don't have to do a
nything except feed your baby, your body does the rest for you. I still have my hand expresser, but haven't touched it yet and in all honesty, probably won't this time round. What I like about this is that the milk is easy to collect and it enables my husband to give our son one feed a day. We make sure this is a late evening feed so that I can get a little extra sleep. So, if you're a new mum or expecting a little bundle soon, go out and get some of these - they're brilliant.
I didn't find out about these until my son was 4 days old. I had been leaking everywhere - I had given up on breast pads and was actually using a small flannel inside each cup of my bra! As soon as my midwife gave me my pair of breast shells, my life changed drastically for the better. They are made of plastic and come in two halves, one of which has an opening for your nipple. You place them inside your bra and away you go! I tried expressing milk for my son to start with so that we could have some much needed time alone, but had no luck with breast pumps. My midwife then suggested that I sterilise the shells and collect milk from one breast while feeding my son with the other. It worked like a dream and I soon had plenty of milk frozen ready for us to go out alone. I did have a few problems with leakage overnight - but only if my son slept for more than 3 hours at a stretch (very rare occurrence). Mainly though, the breast shells gave me a new lease of life - I was no longer worried about going out in public with milk stains down my top. I would highly recommend these to anybody. They also helped to relieve the soreness from cracked nipples, as the moisture from the milk soothes them and keeps the skin soft.
I must admit I found out about these by mistake! I was talking to someone who was breastfeeding and she happened to mention them, after asking what they were she advised me to get them. I am glad that I did as it saved me quite a bit of money, and also a lot of time. A breast shell is like a small cup that fits inside your bra. It has two halves that fit together with a hole for your nipple in one. They come apart for easy cleaning, but a word of caution, if they are not fitted together properly they can leak. This was the only problem that I personally encounted, and that happened a couple of times. I looked around before I brought mine, and found that Boots are doing them for a better price then stores such as Mothercare. I brought two sets. I found this easier as I could wear one set, and sterilise the other when I wasn't using them. I wore mine continuously through the first twelve weeks after having my son. They were very helpful, otherwise I would have used quite alot of breast pads...This is where I saved my money!! I recommed these, and think that they are better than getting breast pads. Breast pads can sometimes make you sore if you are breastfeeding. They also help you to collect milk and this is good if you want to store it. They are not uncofortable, but it does take some getting used to in the beggining...I found that I kept knocking myself on the door! Okay so my bust got bigger and I wasn't used to it!! (so in a way it was like having on protective sheilds!!) Still worth the money.
I was advised to try these by my midwife so I could collect any leaked milk, freeze it as I wanted to return to work and carry on breastfeeding. At this point I definately didn't quite have the hang of my pump. The midwife informed me that if I was to leave the baby for about 4 hours I would need at least 4oz. When I looked at the bottle and saw how much 4oz actually was I was shocked - and it looked to me like a very impossible aim!! I thought I would have to go to formula, at least for the times I was going to be away. As my baby was very very young at this point I didn't really want to do this. You actually get 4 in the box plus two inserts - they are semispherical in shape and plastic. This means they are easy to wash and sterilise in any kind of steriliser. You just put them in your bra - over your nipple of course! However when I tried them I realised I was actually leaking about 2oz per feed at least - no wonder when I was feeding the baby I always seemed to soak right through my breast pad on the other side. So I collected my milk each feed and froze it in Avent disposable bags. This meant I actually had a fairly big supply of frozen milk in my freezer for when I went back to work - my baby is still having expressed breast milk at nursery and she is 5 months old. Without saving every little bit of spare I would not have been able to keep her on breast milk so long. (I have now got the hang of the pump - when feeding settles down you don't seem to leak as much) The ones I brought (Avent) also came with optional inserts to relieve engorged breasts which I also found to be of use, as anyone who has suffered from this knows it can be very painful. But if you use them for this purpose, for a length of time, you must throw any leaked milk away as it will probably have been heated up against the heat of your body. Also if you suffer from cracked nipples they have little 'breather' holes
in the top. This means you can wear them under your bra and stop it irritating your sore nipple even more and let air circulate and heal it at the same time. On the down side for the time you use them, probably limited to 6 weeks at an absolute maximum - for me it was only 2 - they are fairly expensive. Also as they are made out of 'hard' plastic they are a little uncomfortabe to wear for too long.
Many breast feeding mums find that in the early weeks, their breasts produce more than is required, and they leak heavily when feeding. I certainly would find in the mornings that breast pads would not be sufficient to cope with the leakage, so I used breast shells. These are plastic gadgets which come in two halves and fit inside your bra, over the nipple. Before using, make sure you sterilise them, and also make sure you locate the little pouring spout and have it turned upwards, otherwise all the milk will pour out down your clothes rather than being caught (trust me, I've done it!). A breast shell will catch up to an ounce or so of breast milk, which you can then transfer to a sterilised bottle and store for later use. Breast milk will keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours, so I used to use the shells for a day, adding all the milk to the bottle, then freezing it all at the end of the day, by which time I usually had a 4oz bottle of milk. The thing to bear in mind is that the milk you leak is only the more watery fore milk. When this is given to your baby later, it will not keep her satisfied as long as a properly expressed feed, which would include the richer hind milk, however it's definitley useful to do and when you realise just how much milk is otherwise being wasted, it makes sense to catch and store it. Breast shells are widely available, made by Boots, Mothercare, Avent to name a few. They are all pretty much the same as far as I can see, though they vary a little in price.
I've used these with both my daughters when I have been breastfeeding and they are worthwhile to buy if breastfeeding.They are circluar,and come in two halves and has a hole in one half. Easy to use, just slip into the bra,and the nipple goes into the hole and you can feed off the other side.When you have finished or want to swop sides just slip it out and pour into a bottle or special bags you can get to freeze it in. Easy to clean,just sterilise or wash in hot soapy water.I found these really useful in the first few weeks while I was leaking and its good to build a supply of breast milk in the freezer so you can go out.You can keep breast milk in the freezer for 3 months and if stored in deep freeze can be kept upto 6mths!So even if you plan to go back to work part time ,in the early days just use these and you can "catch" 2/4oz at each feed while your milk supply settles down.So you could carry on breastfeeding while at home and give expressed milk while at work. If you want to carry on breastfeeding while at work,your employer legally has to let you have a private room and about 10 mins for you to express off during your shift,and if you take the freezing bags with you, you can store the milk in them in a fridge, clearly labelled, you dont want anyone to drink it in their tea! Then just take home at the end of your shift. I found I didnt need to use these after about 10weeks as my milk production settled down but they where a worth while buy.
i was given a pair of breast shields by my midwife as i was having great problems with leaking, i found i was going through 15 breastpads a day without them. i tried them out and they were excellent, they stopped my from getting wet patchs on my clothes whilst also collecting my milk for later use, with handy lityle air holes at the top to pour out the milk and stop the breasts from becoming too moist - they were a bargain and i didnt even pay for them thanks to a wonderful midwife!) i'd definately recommend them to you if your having trouble with leaking or even if you just want an easy convienent way to collect your breast milk without manually expressing. the only down side to breast sheilds is you have to check them regularly if your leaking a great deal or you will find yourself overflowing, but as long as you check them quite often you should have leak free days.
I found that breast pads alone could not cope with the task of catching all of the milk that leaked in between breast feeding my baby, especially when the milk ?came in?. It also seemed such a waste of milk. I decided to get the Avent breast shields which are basically two plastic cups with a whole in the centre which you put over you in your bra so that any milk is caught in the cups. There is a spout on the edge of the cups so they can then be emptied by pouring the milk out of the spout which should be put positioned upwards when putting the shields in your bra to avoid spilling. The cups can be taken apart in halves to be cleaned. I found these shields to be brilliant for catching leaks. They do need to be checked on a regular basis because if you leak particularly large amounts of milk the shields will get too full. The biggest problem with these shields is the spout at the top. Although this is fine while you are upright, if you bend down to do anything the milk pours out of the spout and makes your bra wet. So, if you do not leak too much, breast pads are probably better. You can sterilise the shields in the Avent microwave steriliser (see opinion on the steriliser separately) so that you can use any milk that is caught in them in a bottle for your baby and save wasting leaked milk, but you need to be careful to clean and sterilise the shields regularly. I bought two sets so that I could sterilise one set whilst wearing another.
I would just like to say to any men reading this, it could be helpfull for you to read this opinion, especially if there is a baby on the way!!!! and your partner is intending on breastfeeding. The whole way through my pregnancy, I was determind to breast feed, I had lots of problems with placenta privia, and I knew I would have a section, I wanted to breast feed for the bond and for her health. I was told to get breast pads and so on, and the johnson and johnson ones were great, I tried a few others and found I sweated and they needed changing too often. I then came accross Avent breast shields. They are like plastic bowles with a whole in! thats the only way I can describe them, sorry!! The whole being for your nipple! and the bowl collects the milk! I suffered big time with engorged breasts! they were so painful and they were too big and uncomfortable to express milk by hand or pump, which also makes you produce more milk! The breast shields sit in your bra and SLOWLY and gently let the milk flow out! they relive engorgement in hours and then you empty them, either into a bottle for later or the sink! They are reuseable, just wash them out in soapy water, sterilize and use again, (they come apart for easy cleaning!) They are the best thing I got when I was breast feeding! and carried on until she was 8 months old!
Shells which fit over breast to allow milk leakage to be collected without staining clothing. Also aims to help to bring out flat nipples